SFU Women in Computing Science

February 09, 2024

By Deborah Acheampong

International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed on Febrauary 11 each year. 2024 marks the ninth year since this Day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to "promote full and equal access and participation women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The theme for this year is "Women and Girls in Science Leadership, a New Era for Sustainability” and the subtheme is “Think Science ... Think Peace”. In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we spoke with women researchers from the School of Computing Science who are breaking barriers at SFU and beyond.




Originally from Hungary, Paige has been advancing research in human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction and technology-aided language learning as a Ph.D student at the SFU Computing Science. She has had a diverse upbringing spanning Northern BC, Greece, Portugal, and now residing once again in France. Paige is an interdisciplinary  student with studies from physical anthropology to statistics and computer engineering. She is loves to study other labguages and has been continuously learning the French language. 

Taking a hindsight on her switch from engineering to computing science, Paige appreciates the positive influence of Women in Computing Science (WiCS) on the community. With prior computing knowledge, she gladly took on the role of a mentor for WiCS. This allowed her to connect with other second-degree students, contributing to the supportive vision of the WiCS community. 
A standout for Paige as a woman in computing science, is the chance to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration during her undergraduate studies. "It was an invaluable experience hearing inspiring talks from women in tech and making new connections." This past year, Paige returned to the Grace Hopper Celebration this time not as an attendee but to showcase her research.  It is an exciting journey from being sponsored to attend as an attendee to being one of the spotlight researchers" Paige saye. "It reinforced my growth in the tech field as a woman." 

Expressing a passion for collaborative projects with talented undergraduates, Paige shares a memorable experience leading the Blackfoot Revitalization project. Alongside a dedicated group of undergraduates for Dr. Eldon Yellow Horn and the Indigenous Studies department, they developed a website hosting a learning game. The goal was to offer enjoyable and innovative ways to support the preservation and learning of the Blackfoot Language. Notably, their efforts earned them the CS EDI award, a recognition of their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the field.

Paige envisions a future where she secures a Postdoc opportunity in Scandinavia, specializing in Speech Generation. Her goal is to return to France for a research position, exploring the convergence of sound and the interaction between robots and humans. Paige Tuttosi's global experiences and diverse academic pursuits make her an amazing contributor to the field of AI research.




Over the summer, Clare developed deeper interests in the ethics behind generative AI, like Dall-E and ChatGPT. She wanted to spend more time exploring that, so Clare submitted a request to SFU to sit in a directed research class to allow her study the bias within generative AI image creators like Dall-E. Clare was put in touch with Professor Nick Vincent whose research focus is in ethical AI. Over the past semester, Clare led the research project, which is the first project that Nick's lab, PAD (People and Data) Computing, is working on! So far, they have been conducting an audit to test the improvements in diversity and image quality between Dall-E 2 and Dall-E 3. Clare plans to open the data up to more auditors to prevent any bias in the results, and then release a paper discussing the findings and create a tool to help developers detect and prevent bias within their algorithms before they are released to the public.

Clare is a past Women in Computing Science (WiCS) executive. She enjoyed her time with WiCS and liked helping create a friendly community in computing. As a leader, Clare had fun planning and joining social events. These events were a great chance for members to relax, have a fun time, and meet others who had interests in computer science. Clare remembers these moments as the best parts of her WiCS time because they helped people relax and make meaningful connections. Even though she is now into generative AI ethics, Clare hopes to go back to WiCS as a leader someday. She wants to keep supporting a friendly and close-knit community in the world of computing. 

In 2024, Clare will be continuing the research while on an exchange semester at the National University of Singapore and doing some research at the SWEET (Social Well-being, Empathy, and Emerging Technologies) lab at NUS.

As Clare keeps exploring generative AI ethics, the aim is to contribute insights that help developers create fair and unbiased algorithms before they are shared with the world. As a long-term goal Clare hopes to one day be a Product Manager. 

SFU Women in Computing Science (WiCs) celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year! Register to attend the reunion celebration on EventBrite